GAINESVILLE -- In 2012, Kyle Christy was an All-American and Ray Guy Award finalist. Now he’s No. 22 Florida’s second-string punter.
Following weeks of poor production, the junior has been officially benched in favor of freshman Johnny Townsend.
“We need to make a change there,” coach Will Muschamp said, who attributed Christy’s issues to mental fatigue.
“It's very frustrating, as much for him as it is for as it is anyone,” Muschamp said. “It's not from a lack of work or a lack of trying to get things right. There's no question about that. It's just a matter of him working through this and us continuing to try and search for answers. If you continue to do the same things, you're going to get the same results."
It’s been a mystifying fall from grace for Christy, who averaged nearly 46 yards per kick with 27 punts inside opponents’ 20-yard line as the nation’s No. 5 punter last season.
This year, the junior is 13th in the SEC in net punting at just 39.6 yards per kick. In Saturday’s loss to LSU, Christy failed to pin LSU deep twice inside its 20-yard line -- the final straw for Muschamp.
Townsend was a late edition to Florida’s 2013 recruiting class, flipping his commitment from Ohio State on National Signing Day.
*** BONUS MUSCHAMP QUOTE ON CHRISTY’S STRUGGLES
“We've looked at his swing and different things and we've tried to continue to, we've looked at all those things. We've tried to make some corrections as far as his drop is concerned, as far as the placement is concerned, as far as the swing is concerned. And you know, it comes to a point where we've got to see some production, and right now we're just not getting it. I think Kyle's going to be fine. We just need to work through this time.”
POWELL DINGED UP
Muschamp is uncertain about redshirt junior linebacker Ronald Powell’s (ankle) status for the Missouri game. Powell was hurt late in the loss to LSU and Muschamp said he “hopes to get him back for Wednesday’s practice.”
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